EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 Review - HotHardware

EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 Review

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Once you've been bit by the enthusiast bug, a funny thing happens. Graphics cards are never fast enough. Processors will never be too powerful. And motherboards will never have too many features. Manufacturers continue to push the envelope and make enthusiast level products because of demand. Along with the goal of being the best in their respective markets, many hardware companies continue to improve their product line up to stay competitive, while also offering consumers options at different price points and performance levels.

Located in Brea, California, EVGA has a solid reputation in the industry. Their customer service support is top notch with an exclusive Step-up Program and lifetime warranties on many products. As an NVIDIA add in board (AIB) partner, EVGA regularly modifies reference design models in order to accommodate consumers who desire products that perform faster, run cooler, and operate with less noise. In general, they achieve this by aggressively binning GPUs to provide factory overclocked options and substituting the stock cooler with an advanced aftermarket solution.

EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 Videocard

The EVGA GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2 is made for a specific type of enthusiast. It comes with a custom, pre-installed water block that eliminates two of the biggest concerns associated with high end graphics cards: heat and noise. When interconnected to a liquid cooling loop, the HC2 makes no sound and operates at relatively frigid temperatures. The lower operating conditions inherently lead to increased overclocking ability and the performance edge that goes along with it. Keep reading as we install this monster in our liquid cooled test bed to see how fast it can really go.   

EVGA GeForce GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2
Specifications and Features

Core Clock
850 MHz
Memory Clock
1049 / 4196 MHz (Clock Rate / Effective Rate)
Shader Clock
1700 MHz
CUDA Cores
Total Memory
1536 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface
384 bit
Memory Bandwidth 201.4 GB/s
Output Connectors
1 x Mini-HDMI, 2 x Dual Link DVI-I connectors
Key Features

Microsoft DirectX 11 Support
NVIDIA CUDA C/C++, DirectCompute 5.0, OpenCL Support
NVIDIA PhysX Technology
NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology
NVIDIA 2-way, 3-way, 4-way SLI Ready
NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround Ready
OpenGL 4.1 Support
Dual Link DVI-I HDCP Capable
One Mini-HDMI 1.4a Connector
Power Requirements 1 x 6 pin , 1 x 8 pin PCI-E power connectors
Minimum 600 Watt power supply

Height - 4.376 in / 111.15 mm
Length - 10.5 in / 266.7 mm
Weight - 3 lbs
Single slot form factor

Limited Lifetime Warranty
Must register within 30 days


Let's get this out of the way first. The GTX 580 FTW HC2 is really expensive. While it's not the most expensive consumer gaming card out there (Asus HD 5970 Ares 4GB sells for $1099), buying the HC2 will leave a considerable hole in your wallet. But if you're seriously interested in this card, it's a safe bet that price is not the deciding factor in your purchasing decision. There are plenty of mainstream models that offer better bang for your buck. This card targets the ultra high end of the market and was designed for the handful of enthusiasts that want no comprimise solutions.

With that said, the Hydro Copper 2 delivers the highest clock speeds of any GeForce GTX 580 in the market. Since the 580 is the flagship card from NVIDIA, the HC2 is currently the fastest GeForce video card available. At 850MHz core, 1700MHz shader, and 1049MHz memory, it's rated well beyond reference specifications (772MHz core / 1002MHz memory). We can't wait to see just how well this baby performs, but first let's look at the details of the card and what comes in the box.

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Maxishine has videos on youtube of these in tri-SLI on the EVGA SR-2.

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It would be more practical if they produced a stand alone pump and radiator for this! This is a niche market so they probably wont see much profit from this since full water systems are still pricey and hard to maintain.

If they made an adaptive H50 pump/radiator that is simple and can be manufactured in various sizes for multiple cards and pluged in without the need to go full water! Then they will probably see more profit from the extra sales of the add on components from making things simpler for their customers. I am sure they can easly adapt thier current CPU pump system to these cards at little or no cost for the conversion. Since more people ar switching to the sealed liquid coolers for the CPU's having a similar system for the GPU Would be the next logical step!

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I've got 3 of these running in SLI with an Intel i7 with a standalone LC system for the CPU, ASUS Rampage III Black Ed MB, 24G RAM (getting it all recognized was a trick), and modified Thermaltake Xaser VI case, with the 3 inch bays removed to make room for a 3-fan radiator and LC tubing.  Just finished getting it all put together, but it screams even before any OC.

Hints for anyone considering GTX 580 Hydro Copper - multiple card setup - you NEED a huge case, the Thermaltake I got still needed to be torn apart to fit everything.  Don't plan on using the PCI slots for much of anything else (though I was able to squeeze in the specialized sound card that came with the MB, JUST under the 3rd GPU).  Also, buy a bunch of extra clamps, and do not overtighten the valves, you'll bow the washers and create a drip.  Finally, don't get cheap on the pump.  The thing is there to protect your $2,100 worth of GPUs (3 x $700 newegg)... 

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